NEW YORK - Serena Williams' profanity-laced tirade at a U.S. Open line judge drew a $10,000 fine Sunday, and more punishment could follow from a broader investigation into what the head of the tournament called her "threatening manner."
The fine - not quite 3 percent of the $350,000 in prize money Williams earned by reaching the semifinals - is the maximum on-site penalty that can be issued for unsportsmanlike conduct at a Grand Slam event.
"The average individual would look at that and say, 'A $10,000 fine for what she did? What are you guys, crazy?' The answer is: The process isn't over," tournament director Jim Curley said.
Bill Babcock, the top administrator for Grand Slams, will review what happened Saturday night, when Williams yelled at a line judge who called a foot fault on a second serve, creating double fault, with the defending champion two points from losing to Kim Clijsters in the semis.
If Babcock determines Williams committed a "major offense," she could be fined all her Open prize money.
Curley said the inquiry probably would include reviewing TV footage, checking additional audio feeds from courtside microphones and interviewing Williams, the line judge, the chair umpire and possibly spectators.
He also said the tournament considered, and decided against, preventing Williams and sister Venus from playing in the women's doubles final today.
"She should be out," ESPN and CBS analyst Mary Carillo said, calling the fine "a joke."
"How can you let her play? That woman was threatened and humiliated."
Williams also was docked $500 for smashing her racket after the first set in the 6-4, 7-5 loss.
Through a public relations agency, Williams said Sunday, "Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don't agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me, and as a result handled the situation poorly."
The line judge's foot-fault call on Williams' second serve gave Clijsters match point at 15-40. Williams screamed, cursed and shook a ball in the judge's direction. She was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, ending the match. She had receiveda code violation warning after she broke her racket earlier, which is why the second violation resulted in a penalty point.
Accounts of what Williams said to the line judge vary.
On CBS's taped coverage, Williams is heard saying, "If I could, I would take this (expletive) ball and (expletive) shove it down your throat." CBS beeped the obscenities.
An early Associated Press report said the tirade included Williams saying she would "kill" the line judge, but the news agency later said it could not confirm that.
During an oncourt meeting of the line judge, the chair umpire and the tournament referee to discuss the matter, Williams said at one point, "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious?" The line judge, whom U.S. Open officials refused to identify, nodded and said, "Yes."
In her postmatch news conference, Williams, who turns 28 this month, said she didn't say "kill."
"I didn't threaten," she said, then, "I don't remember anymore, to be honest. I was in the moment."